It was almost 6 months ago, I decided to create my little space on the internet, and frankly it feels like the time has flown, like it was only yesterday I was drafting my introductory post!
I know it doesn’t sound like much time, but I can look back and realise how much I have changed in my writing, style, life and me as a person, not only that but my little blog has grown as I have grow too!
I started out with a goal to promote my personal style, arts, culture and be primarily a lifestyle blog over fashion, and now it holds a hybrid genre of its very own. I am my own niche, and one who talks of fashion, lifestyle, art, travel, beauty and advice. Being freelance is such an enlightening experience and I cannot state how happy it makes me knowing I write what I want. when I want, for the people I want, and to see other people’s lives having a positive effect as a result of my blogs advice…well let me tell you there is nothing more rewarding!
On my journey I have learnt so many things, that I would love to share 6 with you today…
Feel proud of what you write
Be content with the cards you dealt, this was something I took a little time adjusting to. I never studied journalism, my brain works in the visually creative medium not literal, why am I comparing myself to someone who has a masters degree in journalism?
I think it is okay to be a little different, and I wouldn’t let anyone tell me otherwise, that my creative expression cannot shape the form of any piece of writing. Once I took the path of independance and stopped judging my own posts aside others I learnt to unleash better content, and feel true happiness finishing a post whether my readers enjoyed it or not, I was happy.
This is an extension to my previous point, we have all been hit with the gruelling writers block. There is no shame in admitting that, I read that 90% of blogs are abandoned after 18 months due to lacking ideas, for anyone that has fallen victim to this, read an inspiring book, go on pinterest, do something to engage your brain and circulate some new thoughts. I’ve found it transparent when a blog has lost its soul. Sometimes passion dips and dives, you’ve got to ride the tide and remain positive, write about the things you want and write for the reader and not the brand.
Plan ahead of time
The planner has become my best friend, I’ve vowed when I go back to university to print off 12 blank calenders and schedule a structured posting system. For now I aim for 3/4 posts a week but always get down initial ideas for the rainy day like today I feel inspired to write about x y or z. Planning ahead helps us to manage our time, and give sufficient space to refine our opinions on said subject.
My most honest and truthful posts are the most refreshing to write, you guys have gone crazy for my advice posts and the more I pour out the more gets put back in. It’s been of large debate of how much us bloggers truly hold back, and I lead my life as an open book and a lot of my life is publicised online, I’ve learnt when reviewing sent items that honesty is key, some companies pay you for your nice reviews, but honestly are you going to trust a blog that only publishes good reviews, is it me or does that seem odd when I see everything is 10/10?
Success is not defined by your follow count
I have been fortunate enough to have grown from 0 followers to 2500+ on bloglovin, my twitter expanded by a few thousand, as well as my instagram but at no point does a number measure my personal goals achieved. Not all companies want someone with sky-high stats, particularly as the scandal of buying followers has been caught red handed it’s very evident where the real content comes from. The one great achievement that has come from my numbers expanding is my communication and all the friends I have made online, I treat you all like a friend sitting at the end of my bed at a sleepover, and cannot be more appreciative of the blog stephilareine.com has become today, all thanks to you!
It’s not all serious, have a little humor, it’s socially acceptable to ruffle some feathers, I’m not going to be a negative nancy and tell you that everything you do is has got to be black and white textbook but I personally love reading a good post that got some flair and snazziness, those kind of posts repeat in my head all week!
What lessons have you learnt from blogging?
Any items marked with a * have been gifted or sent to me to review, please see my pr/disclosure